Gordimer Nadine 1923 - 2014 (91)

Everyone ends up moving alone towards the self.


July's People

Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014) was a South African writer and political activist. She was born in Springs, a small town near Johannesburg, on 20/11/1923. Her father was a Jew of Russian descent from present-day Lithuania and her mother a Christian English woman from London. When she grow up, she declared herself an atheist. Her mother considered her a sick child and hired a teacher to teach her private lessons at home, stopping her from school at the age of 11. This fact led her to a very lonely adolescence and pushied her to write. Nandine started writing at the age of nine, at the age of fifteen she published her first short story in a magazine. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1949. Eight more collections of short stories and eleven novels followed. In 1974 she won the Booker Prize and in 1991 the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Gordimer married in 1949, had a daughter and divorced, remarried in 1954 and had a son in 1955; she stayed with her second husband until his death in 2001. She has been active in politics since the 1960s, and has fought Apartheid; she had been a member of the African National Congress since the party was banned. She stood by Nelson Mandela from the beginning of the liberation struggle, among other things she helped write the famous speech "I am ready to die" delivered at his trial in 1962. Many of her books were banned by the apartheid regime. In 2006 she was attacked and robbed in her home, she refused to follow the advice of her family to move to a more protected environment. She insisted that the country needed education and jobs, no more policing. She died in her sleep on July 13, 2014.